People have been searching for the Fountain of Youth for centuries, and one of the latest treatments has them pumping that fountain through their veins.
Human growth hormone is easy to find online, and it's often accompanied by ads claiming it can restore youth, vigor and longevity. The problem is, the Food and Drug Administration says those types of claims are against that law.
Dr. Jerry Mixon hosts seminars and even has his own radio show. But he's now defending himself against allegations of wrongfully prescribing HGH to four patients. Mixon wasn't available for an interview, but he told KOMO News he used to prescribe HGH using the best science available, but he no longer prescribes it.
Mixon was also the target of a previous state investigation accusing him of having sex with a patient, who then tried to recruit for him. He disputes those claims.
The state is also accusing Dr. Bradford Weeks of Island County of inappropriately prescribing HGH to four patients. A records check shows Weeks has been on probation for past prescription violations. He was unavailable for comment.
State Department of Health investigators say Dr. Andrew Pauli of Bellingham wrongfully prescribed HGH to five patients and put them at risk. Reached on Thursday, Pauli refused to comment on the allegations.
Finally, Dr. Janet Vondran of the Clockstoppers Clinic in Kitsap County is accused of unprofessional conduct for prescribing HGH and potentially harming her patients. She, too, was unavailable for comment.
A state Health Department spokesman said one Internet user sparked all four investigations by reporting the allegedly-illegal marketing by the doctors.
"These advertisements were specifically for an anti-aging treatment," said Department of Health spokesman Tim Church. "Not only were they advertising for it, it was clear they were using it on their patients and had not done the proper diagnostic tests to assure that the patients really needed it."
An endocrinologist said the only FDA approved HGH prescriptions are for patients who test positive for HGH deficiencies and need the hormone for proper physical growth.
If patients take it for the wrong reason, HGH can have fatal results, according to Church.
"You could have the opposite affect," he said. "Instead of making you healthier and stronger, it could kill you if it prompted a tumor to grow quicker or cancer to get worse."
All four doctors are contesting the investigations and have hearings pending.